Author Topic: Undead Characters  (Read 21089 times)

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QOShea

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Undead Characters
« on: September 03, 2009, 07:41:22 PM »
Are there any guides to making decent undead characters?

I was considering turning my druid / sorc / arcane heirophant into a necropolitan, taking corrupted wildshape, and maybe spellstitched familiar for my animal companion / familiar.

PhaedrusXY

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2009, 07:46:50 PM »
I don't know of any, but I think it is a decent idea.
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

QOShea

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2009, 07:48:13 PM »
The only problem I can foresee is the True Necromancer in the group.

I really don't want to be rebuked LOL.

Well, that and the generally bad rap that undead have.

PhaedrusXY

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2009, 07:56:11 PM »
Well, that and the generally bad rap that undead have.
Hats of Disguise are cheap. :D
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

Negative Zero

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2009, 07:59:15 PM »
Keep in mind that to control you, he has to have a level for the purposes of rebuking equal to double your HD plus your turn resistance. Getting rebuked is actually pretty meaningless otherwise. (+2 to attack rolls against the rebuked undead? Oh no!)

QOShea

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2009, 08:15:52 PM »
Someone really needs to work up for a guide for undead characters, not just undead makers LOL.

The poor fighter schlub who gets killed and reanimated as a skeleton and then gets hit with the awaken undead spell and decides to head out on his own.

The paladin who forces himself to keep moving ever after he is dead in order to serve his deity.

The wizard who ... oh wait, that's a lich.

Suzerain

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2009, 08:23:52 PM »
Nope. Necropolitan is better than Lich, because it doesn't cost +4 LA. Dry Lich is even better (accessible through Walker in the Waste), though not good for everybody (lose 2 levels of spell progression; the prereqs are also a bitch).

One thing that's come up when I thought about playing a Necropolitan is that you can (probably) protect yourself from destruction/control with protection from good.

QOShea

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2009, 08:44:13 PM »
Nope. Necropolitan is better than Lich, because it doesn't cost +4 LA. Dry Lich is even better (accessible through Walker in the Waste), though not good for everybody (lose 2 levels of spell progression; the prereqs are also a bitch).

One thing that's come up when I thought about playing a Necropolitan is that you can (probably) protect yourself from destruction/control with protection from good.

Good point about the Lich, hadn't remembered that.

Probably need Protection from Good AND Evil, there's a temple of Pelor in the area and swarms of undead in the area (hence the temple of Pelor).

Akalsaris

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2009, 01:00:14 AM »
Let's see:

Campaign where you don't expect to ever level up (RP-heavy games, 1-shots, lots of PBP games, some RL games where the DM is stingy with experience:

Vampire!  Start as a member of the living, and it's relatively easy to become one - make a deal with it and have a contingency plan to avoid becoming its mind-slave.  Instant +5 LA template.

Lich!  If you're starting at 17+ as a wizard (or maybe cleric), I'd just prepare the materials for lich and start the game by transforming into one after an adventure or two.  Have a high-level minion with a non-magical amulet as a decoy phylactery for added style.

Campaign where you do expect to level up:

Grave-touched Ghoul from LM is a pretty solid template to make you a ghoul - much better than the SS levels.  +2 LA.

Necropolitan is good in many cases, especially mid-level games.

A late-bloomer, but I'm a fan of 10 levels of Walker in the Waste (Sandstorm), which turns you into a lich without the LA (presumably without the LA, otherwise the PrC is complete rot - but other transformative PrCs like Dragon Disciple don't have LAs). 

Niche cases:

For the right build, a Ghost (+5 LA) can be a lot of fun.  Good for scouting, Mind Jar-ing NPCs, skirmishing, etc. 

Protecting yourself from the living:

The first thing you should probably do is establish a gentleman's agreement with the DM.  Point out that it's relatively easy for higher level NPC clerics to utterly destroy you, without you even getting a saving throw.  Point out that save-or-die's-without-a-save really, really suck, and add in that it's probably also easy for you to create a horde of shadows, vampires, and wights and take over the world.  Ask if maybe you two can agree not to use either tactic.

Second, consider checking LM for spells and feats that protect you from turning.  1-2 items and maybe 1 feat should be enough.  Honestly, I wouldn't even bother most of the time - if the DM's going to throw clerics at you consistently, you've already lost the fight, and if he only throws one or two over 20 levels, then I'd rather have that feat and gold spent on something useful for the other 500 fights you had earlier. 

QOShea

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2009, 01:10:59 AM »
How much more would it cost to have the Corpse Crafter line of feats applied to a character?

Any ideas?

Emy

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2009, 10:01:50 AM »
Tomb Warden PrC is potentially useful, as it gives you immunity to turning while in your tomb.

A late-bloomer, but I'm a fan of 10 levels of Walker in the Waste (Sandstorm), which turns you into a lich without the LA (presumably without the LA, otherwise the PrC is complete rot - but other transformative PrCs like Dragon Disciple don't have LAs).

That's Dry Lich, which is significantly better than regular Lich.

Keep in mind that to control you, he has to have a level for the purposes of rebuking equal to double your HD plus your turn resistance. Getting rebuked is actually pretty meaningless otherwise. (+2 to attack rolls against the rebuked undead? Oh no!)

If you trust your True Necromancer (hahaha), it's actually better to be controlled by your teammate. Aside from giving you an extra chance to ignore mind control1, it'll make the necromancer's rebukes skip over you. I assumed that the bit that says the "rebuked undead creature cowers in awe" was referring to the cowering condition, which is actually pretty bad. So you want to avoid that.

1 If I recall correctly, this is how it would work:TN rebukes you, and commands you to act as you normally would. BBEG dominates you and commands you to attack your allies, and you fail your will save. Now you roll an opposed Cha check each turn to see whose orders you follow, rather than simply slaughtering your buddies.

Suzerain

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2009, 05:24:54 PM »
I don't remember any rules on competitive rebuking... but with HoH and LM out, I don't doubt there is something like that.

You weren't talking about bolstering, though, right? That only lasts 10 rounds (like a rebuke) :-/

Emy

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2009, 10:21:00 PM »
I don't remember any rules on competitive rebuking... but with HoH and LM out, I don't doubt there is something like that.

You weren't talking about bolstering, though, right? That only lasts 10 rounds (like a rebuke) :-/

I'm pretty sure those are the rules on what happens if multiple people have the same target dominated/commanded/whatever, but I can't find them. :(

QOShea

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2009, 10:22:22 PM »
With Awaken Undead, does it restore the previous life's memories or just provide a new intelligence?

Felix Underwood

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2009, 08:47:38 PM »
new intelligence

Brainpiercing

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2009, 05:04:55 PM »
The hands down best undead player template is the Bone Creature for average characters, and the Corpse creature for tanks, bruisers or people who wish to retain a semplance of life (they do stink, as per the descripion, but as a necro, who cares?). As a Dreadnecro, become one yourself by buying a casting of contingency (or use a scroll) paired with your own Create greater Undead. Then kill yourself. As a wizard do it yourself, of course you'll end up slightly weaker, but just slightly so.

Necropolitans are just wimps in comparison.

Liches suck, especially for casters. The flavour is nice, though. If ONLY they also had Infernal Toughness, and less LA.

Deathknights have some nice abilities, just too much pesky LA to be playable.

PhaedrusXY

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2009, 05:10:49 PM »
The hands down best undead player template is the Bone Creature for average characters, and the Corpse creature for tanks, bruisers or people who wish to retain a semplance of life (they do stink, as per the descripion, but as a necro, who cares?). As a Dreadnecro, become one yourself by buying a casting of contingency (or use a scroll) paired with your own Create greater Undead. Then kill yourself. As a wizard do it yourself, of course you'll end up slightly weaker, but just slightly so.
There is no LA listed for those, though. So it is up to individual DMs to decide what it should be, and most are going to give them at least a +1. That is the main advantage of Necropolitan over these. It is specifically listed as LA +0. These are also from the Book of Vile Darkness, which is banned for PC use by many DMs in my experience.
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

Brainpiercing

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2009, 08:11:16 PM »
There is no LA listed for those, though. So it is up to individual DMs to decide what it should be, and most are going to give them at least a +1. That is the main advantage of Necropolitan over these. It is specifically listed as LA +0. These are also from the Book of Vile Darkness, which is banned for PC use by many DMs in my experience.

That's right, but IF people want to play as undead, then they should still know what is the best. Also, I would hold it as a useful DM resource, too, to let them know what dead PCs could be revived as. After all, it's much cheaper than bringing them back to real life.

Barring the BoVD, I guess Necropolitan is fine, with no real alternative at LA 0.

Tenebrous Apostate

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2009, 02:10:04 AM »
Guys guys!! being Undead permenently sucks. period. you get rebuked, they douse you with holy water, nobody trusts you. Bad deal. But If you do want to become a find of the Night there are several ways to achieve it painlessly. first of all there is Shapechange! Available to allmost every arcane caster (become a vampire). Lichdom is cool in my book even if a bit hefty on the LA. So is the Death knight (best available for clerics) That one though I don't know how you get..... The dry lich has this dry Aura that sucks big time but that's just me.  You can allways ask someone to mummify you. You can allso become a Shadow creature if you were not humanoid to begin with (elans allways come to mind for some reason). You summon an extraplanar version of the creature you wish to become and ask your bound servant to make you one of it's spawn and then  realease you (make sure that your teammates can kill it if it desides to back down on it's word). The Necropolitans are the safe choice hence the dull choice
Dead mortals feel no Dread

Negative Zero

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Re: Undead Characters
« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2009, 08:40:38 AM »
You can turn off the aura so long as you're conscious.

Anyway, I say that being undead is great. Assuming the method is optimized, you can have a lot of HP without having to put points into Con (except to keep you alive until then), there are the huge immunities, etc. Holy Water isn't a big deal - 2d4 damage is less than a greatsword, and less than Alchemist's Fire (over two rounds, admittedly). Turning isn't a huge threat, but if you're worried, I'm pretty sure there are spells that give sufficient turn resistance to effectively make you immune.